It used to be that the only adults who read young adult literature were those who had a vested interest — teachers or librarians or parents who either needed or wanted to keep an eye on developing readers’ tastes.
But increasingly, adults are reading YA books with no ulterior motives. Attracted by well-written, fast-paced and engaging stories that span the gamut of genres and subjects, such readers have mainstreamed a niche long derided as just for kids.
Thanks to huge crossover hits like Stephenie Meyer’s bloodsucking «Twilight» saga, Suzanne Collins’ fight-to-the-death «The Hunger Games» trilogy, Rick Riordan’s «The Lightning Thief» and Markus Zusak’s Nazi-era «The Book Thief,» YA is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak publishing market. Where adult hardcover sales were down 17.8% for the first half of 2009 versus the same period in 2008, children’s/young adult hardcovers were up 30.7%.